I said I would write about the February 29th update, so I am. Luckily there was also a March 1st update which I can also write about, although most of that was bug fixes and the un-fucking-up of CP_Foundry. The important matchmaking stuff that you’re all interested in is available in video form here. Go on, watch the video!
The biggest thing to point out was a very random Matchmaking Stress Test that happened late on the 1st of March. People of all sorts of flavours could suddenly go and play matchmaking. Unfortunately (and typically) I managed to miss it, for me, only by an hour, as I’d fallen asleep. No wonder, it was like 3 in the morning or something stupid. And with no actual warning that the stress test was even happening, it makes for a lousy stress test, since you’re not getting the maximum number of players possible to actually stress the servers out and test it.
It doesn’t seem to have gone too badly though, the main complaint is that CTF maps are in the map rotation and that sometimes you get sent to weird server locations. That’s good news, I guess?
The February 29th update was actually quite substantial. It included the first part of the Matchmaking process, and as mentioned before, we were able to have a sneak peak at that. You’re now capable of using Gift Wrap, although it no longer works on untradable items and has the same trade cooldown as normal items, rendering them completely pointless. Giftapults are back too but you can’t craft them. On the flip side, the Steam Treasure Hunt TF2 hats are now tradable, but the HOUWAR is still super expensive. Several items were also updated to be multi-class, and more multi-class items are always good.
PASS Time got some bug fixes. Workshop maps now properly work, as do jump pads. Unfortunately, the unique interaction of the Sandman ball being able to steal the jack has been removed. Also included are experimental cvars. Always interesting.
The rest of the update is mostly bug fixes. Finally, fucking finally, Borneo was updated and patched. Vanguard got a teletrap removed. Snowycoast got a ton of changes and fixes, which is nice. I kinda like Snowycoast, apart from the whole stretch to the end. Waiting for that door to open is so annoying, and that sort of wait just ruins the flow of payload maps.
There were also a bunch of changes to Mannpower, but no one cares about Mannpower apart from the TF2 team. You all know how I feel about the game mode.
The March 1st patch was of little interest. It’s mostly bug fixes. Importantly, (and sadly for me), the Festive Crossbow now has the same annoying noises as the normal Crossbow. The changes to Foundry were reversed, which is good because they were unintended, and the Summer Shades are now tradable too. I feel there’s going to be an ongoing thing where formerly untradable but rare items are going to become untradable, thanks to the Gift Wrap nerfs.
I think that’s everything. Hopefully we’ll be getting more of these big updates. Don’t think we’ll get anything major though until summer, as seems to be the trend these days. And I hope either me or aabicus can get into the matchmaking beta at some point.
Oh, there’s also this weird-looking all-class hat based off the Pass Time jack, but that might be from a while back.